Menton is located at the border between France and Italy, in the very north east of the Alpes Maritimes department. Its 27,655 inhabitants are called the Mentonnais or Mentonasques (traditional name used in literature). Menton has many assets that can explain its popularity, it is a town of gardens, a marine town and lovely seaside resort at the same time. The French geographer Élisée Reclus gave to Menton the nickname of ‘Pearl of France’. The growing of lemon, orange and palm trees, mimosas as well as the extraction of rare essential oils are possible thanks to the subtropical microclimate from which Menton benefits. Lemon is besides the symbol of the town (see below‘Celebration of Lemon').
Menton was built on the domain of the Counts of Vintimille, but it was destroyed by wars between the Counts of Provence and Genova. The town was bought by Charles I of Monaco (Lord of Monaco) in 1346. Menton then belonged to the principality of Monaco during five centuries, before being attached to France in 1861.
Life is really pleasant in this nice town where sea is predominant. The outstanding coastline, old port and two marinas seduce the numerous holiday makers who visit the area. The old town is also worth the trip. You will find there plenty of luxurious properties with wonderful old facades that recall the prestigious past of the town. Indeed, Menton was the place where numerous members of European royal families and celebrities came to enjoy holidays. Many luxurious hotels and villas were built there for them by famous architects such as Charles Garnier or Hans Georg Tersling. Amidst celebrities who visited Menton: Queen Victoria, Albert I of Belgium, Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, Winston Churchill, etc.
But Menton is not just the case of expensive villas, it is also a town of culture and arts. Menton is the first town of Maritimes Alps which received the label ‘Town of Art and History’.
The Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur is a very attractive region for both French and foreigner holiday makers. The pleasant way of life of southern France, sandy and pebble beaches, mountainous landscapes and charming towns full of history and culture get a great success all over the world. Therefore real estate in this area is not affordable. Property prices are high in this area, especially along the Mediterranean coast.
As many towns located on the Côte d’Azur, properties in Menton are also pretty expensive. The average price is €4,227 / square metre for a property to buy, the national average price being of €3,197 / sq m. At the end of 2008, a studio flat could cost between €4,170 and €5,900 / sq m. A 4-room apartment was curiously more expensive than a studio flat as you had to plan between €3,590 and €4,690 / square metre. The demand for small properties is more important as people are probably looking for a place close to all the amenities and practical more than luxurious. Regards rental, the average price is €16.32/sq m/month to rent a property in Menton. Once again, prices are higher in the Mediterranean town than in France in general as the national average for a property to rent is €12.22/sq m/month.
To get updated info about the property prices in Alpes Maritimes, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of PACA Property Prices.
Menton is a rich seaside resort that benefits from a perfect location along the Mediterranean Sea and close to the Italian frontier. This town of art, history and culture will definitely seduce you!
Events: festivals and events have an essential place in the life of the town. Almost each month of the year has its own celebration! Amongst others: Christmas Festival (December/January), the famous Fête du Citron (‘celebration of lemon’ - February), the ‘month of the Gardens’ (June), Music Festival (August), Monaco Marathon (November).
Gardens' paradise: Menton was ranked at the first place five times at the French competition 'Villes fleuries' (towns which pay attention to nature, flowers, gardens, etc.). Thanks to the mild climate, landscape gardeners can let their imagination go wild and create wonderful gardens. The numerous gardens that can be found in Menton have been done with talent: the Jardin Serre de la Madone, ‘Val Rahmeh’ (Exotic Botanical Garden), Fontana Rosa, Maria Serena garden, etc. The gardeners admirably take care of these paradises for nature lovers. Let’s have a walk in one of these gardens and dream about summer, even in winter!
Places of interest: first of all, the old town is worth visiting. Indeed, it is really enjoyable to walk in the historical centre of Menton. The myriad of medieval streets are a good heritage from the past. Do not miss the basilica of Saint-Michel-Archange. This wonderful basilica and its bell-tower are jewel of the Baroque art and belong to the most beautiful spots of the region. There are also a few museums to visit: the not to be missed museum of Jean Cocteau, fine arts museum, gallery of contemporary art, regional museum of prehistory, etc. The covered market gives a great example of Provencal markets, where fresh fruits and typical produce of the region are sold.
Rental opportunities: given the popularity of Menton and its thriving economy, renting a property there may be a very good investment. The area offers excellent rental opportunities either for seasonal short term lets or long term lets. Even if property prices are high in the town, there are still bargain to be driven!
Apartments: you can find all the size and kind of apartments in Menton. Whether you are looking for a new large apartment in the town centre, a studio close to all amenities or a renovated 2-room apartment, you will find your dream property in Menton.
Town houses: located in the town centre, these properties are perfect for large families. Most of them have whitewashed walls or painted in warm colours and tiled roofs. They often come with a garden and are minimum 2-storey properties. Why not invest in a typical Provencal town house in the wonderful town of Menton?
Villas: these luxurious properties are widespread in the Côte d’Azur. Of large dimensions, they always come with a private swimming-pool, a large piece of land, balconies and terraces at the front and behind the house. Most of the time, villas have a very modern layout (eg fitted kitchen) even if they were built a long time ago. The architecture of such properties is often great with sculptures, pillars or huge entrance gates.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur.
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